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Ludhiana Municipal Corporation polls on Saturday amid clashes

During the campaign, clashes had taken place between Congress, AAP and Lok Insaaf party (LIP) workers.

ludhiana mc polls, ludhiana Municipal Corporation polls, ludhiana polls, Simranjeet Singh Bains, bains brothers, indian express, punjab politics, punjab AAP, lok insaaf party Former SAD minister MLA Sharanjit Dhillon with party candidate Jagbir Sokhi during a dharna in Ludhiana. (Gurmeet Singh)

A day ahead of voting for Ludhiana Municipal Corporation polls to be held on Saturday, poll authorities have declared 284 out of the total 1153 polling stations as sensitive, most of them in the constituencies of MLA brothers Simranjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains.

During the campaign, clashes had taken place between Congress, AAP and Lok Insaaf party (LIP) workers. District electoral officer-cum-deputy commissioner Pardeep Aggarwal said nine strong rooms had been set up where EVMs would be kept till the counting day on February 27. The strong rooms will have CCTV cameras, which would be Wi-Fi enabled so that any candidate can monitor the same through a password issued by the returning officer. More than 4,500 police personnel have been deployed for security on Saturday, Aggarwal said.

A total of 494 candidates are in fray in 95 wards and there are 10.50 lakh voters. Meanwhile, on the eve of the polling day, fresh clashes broke out between rivals. Jagbir Singh Sokhi, SAD candidate from ward number 36, sat on a dharna along with supporters outside the Shimlapuri police station, alleging that Congress candidate Prince Johar and his supporters has threatened voters not to vote for SAD and when he tried to reach the spot, he was attacked. Sokhi said, “My car has been damaged and even I got injuries. We are sitting on a dharna and will not leave till the time the Congress candidate and his supporters are arrested.”

SAD MLA Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, former MLA Manpreet Ayali and district SAD president Ranjeet Dhillon were also sitting on dharna along with Sokhi. However, Prince Johar denied all the allegations and said Sokhi himself had stage-managed the attack. In fact, he said, Congress workers were admitted in a hospital after being injured in a clash.

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Similarly, in ward 48, a clash took place between SAD candidate Gurjit Singh Chhabra and Congress candidate Parvinder Laparan after which Chhabra was admitted in a hospital. In ward number 44, Independent candidate Jasbir Singh Jassal alleged that on the intervening night of February 22 and 23, the police tried to enter in his house forcibly. Jassal is a Congress rebel. In this ward, Harkaran Singh Vaid, son of Congress MLA Kuldeep Singh Vaid, is contesting polls on a Congress ticket.

AAP’s spokesperson Darshan Singh Shankar alleged that Congress workers had put up their party flag on AAP’s office in ward number 4, where AAP candidate Gulab Gautam is in the fray. Police Commissioner R N Dhoke said, “I have given clear directions to register FIR after getting complaints of clashes. Instead of sitting on a dharna, a complaint should be given to the police. FIR will also be lodged against the ones who are blocking traffic.”

First published on: 24-02-2018 at 03:48:21 am
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